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An ordinance relating to energy conservation; requiring owners of nonresidential and multi-family buildings to measure and disclose energy efficiency performance, and adding a new Chapter 22.920 to Title 22 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
As states and cities seek to meet their energy savings and carbon emissions reduction goals, new and innovative solutions are needed to improve energy efficiency in the stock of existing homes and buildings. One key tool-building energy rating and disclosure (BER&D) -seeks to ensure that real estate markets value energy efficiency by requiring information about building energy performance be disclosed to potential buyers, renters and the public. These policies range from simple checklists for new home efficiency features to comprehensive regulations that require new and existing homes and commercial buildings to undergo an energy audit. BER&D policies are often linked with improved building energy codes, and in some cases poor rating results can trigger mandatory efficiency upgrades for poorly performing buildings.
As states and cities seek to meet their energy savings and carbon emissions reduction goals, new and innovative solutions are needed to improve energy efficiency in the stock of existing homes and buildings. One key tool - building energy rating and disclosure (BER&D) - seeks to ensure that real estate markets value energy efficiency by requiring information about building energy performance be disclosed to potential buyers, renters and the public. These policies range from simple checklists for new home efficiency features to comprehensive regulations that require new and existing homes and commercial buildings to undergo an energy audit. BER&D policies are often linked with improved building energy codes, and in some cases poor rating results can trigger mandatory efficiency upgrades for poorly performing buildings.
Fact sheet supporting Chicago\'s energy benchmarking program.
According to an EPA sponsored report, the city saw a cumulative energy savings of 5.7% during the first four years of the policy (2010-2013), which resulted in total dollar savings of $267 million. An input-output analysis estimated that operations and maintenance upgrades and capital improvements associated with the policy induced the creation of 3,132 jobs during the period.
It is relatively easy to make the connection that tracking and disclosing a building's energy usage will promote energy savings, but in fact, there are many other benefits that go far beyond simply kilowatt hours. While benchmarking brings building owners' attention to energy efficiency, resulting in behavioral and operational changes that spur immediate and low-cost reductions in energy consumption, these policies also provide the opportunity for increased government efficiency, job creation, and economic and environmental health.
We have entered a new era of constrained spending, high unemployment and complex political turmoil, yet the question on everyone's mind is simple: How do we create jobs? Surprisingly, the answer is right in front of us. New laws in New York City, San Francisco and other large cities requiring energy performance disclosure for buildings have the potential to become a 21st century engine for job creation and significantly improve the course of America's energy future.
This fifth annual report details the energy performance of 468 San Francisco municipal facilities encompassing nearly 49 million square feet of building area during calendar year 2015. San Francisco began to benchmark its properties in 2011, when the San Francisco Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance was approved by the Board of Supervisors and signed by Mayor Edwin M. Lee. This ordinance requires owners of non-residential buildings over 10,000 square feet to annually benchmark and disclose the energy performance of their buildings, using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Portfolio Manager tool to obtain ENERGY STAR ratings when possible.
Benchmarking is the process of comparing inputs, processes, or outputs within or between organizations, often with an aim toward motivating performance improvement. Benchmarking typically measures performance using an indicator per common unit (e.g., cost per unit produced), which allows for comparison over time, to others, or to an applicable standard. When applied to building energy use, benchmarking can provide a mechanism for measuring how efficiently a building uses energy relative to the same building over time, other similar buildings, or modeled simulations of a building built to code or some desired standard. Building energy use is typically measured in energy use per square foot. To make comparison even easier, buildings can also be rated against pre-determined scales that can provide a single rating or score, taking into account variations in building operating characteristics, climate, or other factors. By making energy performance information readily available, disclosure of such ratings can facilitate market transformation toward more energy-efficient buildings.
Do buildings that consistently benchmark energy performance save energy? The answer is yes, based on the large number of buildings using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to track and manage energy use. Over 35,000 buildings entered complete energy data in Portfolio Manager and received ENERGY STAR scores for 2008 through 2011, which represents three years of change from a 2008 baseline. These buildings realized savings every year, as measured by average weather-normalized energy use intensity and the ENERGY STAR score, which accounts for business activity. Their average annual savings is 2.4%, with a total savings of 7.0% and score increase of 6 points over the period of analysis.